The Edmonton Oilers have received plenty of league wide attention for the past few years, but it was never for a good or positive reason. But, that’s what 2 consecutive last place finishes will do.
Slowly, things have been changing. Monday’s game in the “centre of the universe” also known as Tornonto Ontario drew a media storm to not only the game, but also the morning skate. After all, these were the same Oilers who had been riding a winning streak and who featured a player who had scored more points in a single game than many players score in a month.
While twitter can be an excellent way to quickly get information out, it must always be read carefully and fully. One tweet in particular caused a bit of a stir today:
Ales Hemsky-Andy Sutton to Det.for Tomas Jurco and 1st round pick. Hemsky and pick to Nash.for Jonathan Blum and 1st round pick #justrumors
That came from Gene Principe, and there were at least a few of us who didn’t get to the hashtag part before reacting. The Hemsky trade part is nothing new, but should a trade for the winger go through this season it will still come as a shock.
The question that the other half of the tweet raised was of course, just what is the story with this Jurco kid?
Oilers win 2-1 over the Sharks in OT
On paper, this was surely another Oilers loss; they had lost eight of their past nine. But of course those are the games that the Oilers seem to do better with. There is a strong chance that this win may also have had to do with the tongue lashing the team received from head coach Tom Renney on Sunday following the performance Saturday night against the Calgary Flames.
The players knew they had to do better, and Ryan Smyth himself expressed his displeasure with the way his team handled the game. You have to think that a veteran like Smyth would have had words for his team as well as the media.
After perhaps his best game of the season this Sunday, it is time once again to talk Ales Hemsky. Drafted by the Edmonton Oilers 13th overall in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, Hemsky has become one of the longest standing Oilers. With the Oilers, Hemsky has lost teeth, separated shoulders and played game seven of the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals. Through those years, Hemsky has also been the focus of a lot of trade talk. Some felt that Hemsky didn’t have the heart, some the finish and some that the Oilers would eventually trade away all players of value.
This was the perfect game for 2011 1st round Swedish defenceman draft pick Oscar Klefbom to see his NHL team, the Edmonton Oilers, play live. Klefbom and several members of the Sweden U20 team took in an NHL game in the same building they will play in Friday night while facing Team Canada in another preliminary game and what a game it was. According to Dan Tencer of 630 Ched, several of the players caught onto the energy of the arena and participated in the fist pump cam.
Oilers beat Avalanche 4-1
After their worst game this season, the Oilers went back to basics and focused on the simple things on their off day. The results, a much anticipated victory against a division rival. Certain players stepped up, while others have remained invisible, but overall this game was a vast improvement over the last.
Oilers beat Blackhawks 9-2
The last time Rexall Place was filled with a “we want 10 chant” was January 29th, 2009 in a game against the Buffalo Sabres. The Sabres would go on to win 10-2 and Oiler fans would cheer for the visiting team. Prior to that game, there was another we want ten incident and it was the same season but against the Chicago Blackhawks. What is extremely interesting is at the final score on that December 16th was also 9-2, but that time the win was Chicago’s.
When your team is not considered a contender, most likely anyone on your roster is moveable. Of course some players may require the sun and moon to move, but most likely your GM is willing to listen to offers.
The Edmonton Oilers are certainly not a contender, not this year. This is of course despite the hopes, dreams and wishes of the Oiler faithful, but a recent string of losses can help bring a person back to reality.
Ales Hemsky, Darcy Hordichuk and Cam Barker all look set to return to the line-up soon and so changes to the Oilers line-up must be made. Cam Barker and Ales Hemsky both took and as far as I can tell, passed Coach Tom Renney’s skate test. This test is something that all players hoping to return to the line-up must do, and the results must make Renney happy. Renney says he can tell if his players are not pushing themselves, or are pushing too hard.
The Edmonton Oilers have had various struggles this week; many games after playing so few, players come and going through the lineup due to injuries and the dreaded fall flu. Taylor Hall was questionable for Monday night’s game and did miss Tuesday night’s battle of Alberta. Coach Tom Renney has said that there are a few players that are also battling the flu or at least flu like symptoms as well.
Unfortunately, the flu cannot account for the trend that the Oilers have set this week, leading games only to lose in the end.
About Oil Patch
Lisa McRitchie is a fairly new writer, online at least, but makes up for inexperience with passion for the game of hockey and memories of Mrs. Leskiw’s English AP class; who knew they would pay off one day.
Oil Patch focuses on the Edmonton Oilers, the Edmonton Oil Kings, The Oklahoma City Barons and Team Canada Hockey with game coverage, news updates, speculation and interviews.
Although the Oilers have had a difficult past decade… or three, here at Oil Patch, the future looks bright.
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